Wednesday, 23 February 2011 10:44
altFor the past three years, I have had the honor to be a judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the mystery/thriller category.

This has been the best experience I have ever had being a judge. That's mainly because of the other judges with whom I served—Sarah Weinman and Dick Lochte.
The three of us were focused on choosing the best novels we could.

altWe started with an incredibly long list that we kept narrowing down and narrowing down. That's good news because it means the three of us thought that 2010 was a very good year for mysteries.

Too many times judges let their egos get away from them and they focus on their own agendas, not on the nominees .

I can say proudly that never happened with the three of us. I would serve as a judge anywhere, anytime with Sarah and Dick.
So here is what you really want to know:

altThe 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded April 29, 2011, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building.
Mystery/Thriller category nominees:

Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (William Morrow)

Tana French, Faithful Place (Viking)
french_faithfulplace
stanley_cityofdragonsLaura Lippman, I’d Know You Anywhere (William Morrow)
Stuart Neville, Collusion (SoHo Press) (Neville is featured in the latest issue of Mystery Scene)
Kelli Stanley, City of Dragons (Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book)
Congratulations to the nominees.
L.A. Times Book Prize Nominees
Oline Cogdill
lag-times-book-prize-nominees
altFor the past three years, I have had the honor to be a judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the mystery/thriller category.

This has been the best experience I have ever had being a judge. That's mainly because of the other judges with whom I served—Sarah Weinman and Dick Lochte.
The three of us were focused on choosing the best novels we could.

altWe started with an incredibly long list that we kept narrowing down and narrowing down. That's good news because it means the three of us thought that 2010 was a very good year for mysteries.

Too many times judges let their egos get away from them and they focus on their own agendas, not on the nominees .

I can say proudly that never happened with the three of us. I would serve as a judge anywhere, anytime with Sarah and Dick.
So here is what you really want to know:

altThe 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded April 29, 2011, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles Times building.
Mystery/Thriller category nominees:

Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (William Morrow)

Tana French, Faithful Place (Viking)
french_faithfulplace
stanley_cityofdragonsLaura Lippman, I’d Know You Anywhere (William Morrow)
Stuart Neville, Collusion (SoHo Press) (Neville is featured in the latest issue of Mystery Scene)
Kelli Stanley, City of Dragons (Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book)
Congratulations to the nominees.
Friday, 18 February 2011 01:27
Last month we had the nominees for the Edgar Awards; now it's time for Malice Domestic's Agatha Award nominees.

Malice Domestic 23 will be April 29-May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, MD. The Agatha Awards will be given out during the Agatha Awards banquet to be held on Saturday, April 30.
Congratulations to all the nominees.
2010 Agatha Award Nominees

Best Novel:
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (St. Martin's Paperbacks)

Best First Novel:
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames (Berkley)
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden (Signet)
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower (Five Star/Gale)
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside Press)
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff (Midnight Ink)
Best Nonfiction:
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin)
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (Harper)
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Stephen Doyle & David A. Crowder (For Dummies)
Have Faith in Your Kitchen by Katherine Hall Page (Orchises Press)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Best Short Story:
"Swing Shift" by Dana Cameron, Crimes by Moonlight (Berkley)
"Size Matters" by Sheila Connolly, Thin Ice (Level Best Books)
"Volunteer of the Year" by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin' (Wildside Press)
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - Sept./Oct. 2010
"The Green Cross" by Liz Zelvin, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2010
Best Children's/Young Adult:
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton Children's)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Candlewick)
Virals by Kathy Reichs (Razorbill)
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith (Atheneum)
Agatha Award Nominees Announced
Oline Cogdill
agatha-award-nominees-announced
Last month we had the nominees for the Edgar Awards; now it's time for Malice Domestic's Agatha Award nominees.

Malice Domestic 23 will be April 29-May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, MD. The Agatha Awards will be given out during the Agatha Awards banquet to be held on Saturday, April 30.
Congratulations to all the nominees.
2010 Agatha Award Nominees

Best Novel:
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (St. Martin's Paperbacks)

Best First Novel:
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames (Berkley)
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden (Signet)
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower (Five Star/Gale)
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside Press)
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff (Midnight Ink)
Best Nonfiction:
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin)
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (Harper)
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Stephen Doyle & David A. Crowder (For Dummies)
Have Faith in Your Kitchen by Katherine Hall Page (Orchises Press)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Best Short Story:
"Swing Shift" by Dana Cameron, Crimes by Moonlight (Berkley)
"Size Matters" by Sheila Connolly, Thin Ice (Level Best Books)
"Volunteer of the Year" by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin' (Wildside Press)
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - Sept./Oct. 2010
"The Green Cross" by Liz Zelvin, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2010
Best Children's/Young Adult:
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton Children's)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Candlewick)
Virals by Kathy Reichs (Razorbill)
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith (Atheneum)
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 10:41
altI've been thinking a lot about sex and violence lately.
Oh, please. Get your mind out of the gutter.
I've been thinking about this topic because I am part of a panel this weekend for the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. The exact title of the panel is "Love & Murder;" but we all know what that means.
Florida author Deborah Sharp, right, who is putting together the panel, has come up with some good questions for the speakers, who include P.J. Parrish (Kristy Montee) and Linda Conrad.
Do authors use too much sex and violence?
I read a crazy amount of mysteries every year. You don't even want to know how many as it would seem, well, crazy.
The good news is I believe that most authors use violence only when needed to get a point across or to add to the heart-stopping action. Some authors such as Jacqueline Winspear, Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben use violence very sparingly, making it organic to the story.
The bad news is that some authors seem to feel that if the body count isn't high, the readership won't be either. These are the mysteries that set my teeth on edge, that succumb to the cliches of the genre and follow what I call the Fair Game syndrome. And I am talking about the 1995 movie with Cindy Crawford, which seemed to have a death in every scene.
When an author believes that he or she has to have more, more, more, then chances are the story is just not there and the author needs to sit back and think long and hard about the type of story he or she wants to write.
The use of violence also parallels the use of sex in mysteries. Too much just doesn't work.
I'd like to know readers' views on the issue of sex and violence. What do you think?
How Much Sex and Violence Is Too Much
Oline Cogdill
how-much-too-much-sex-and-violence
altI've been thinking a lot about sex and violence lately.
Oh, please. Get your mind out of the gutter.
I've been thinking about this topic because I am part of a panel this weekend for the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. The exact title of the panel is "Love & Murder;" but we all know what that means.
Florida author Deborah Sharp, right, who is putting together the panel, has come up with some good questions for the speakers, who include P.J. Parrish (Kristy Montee) and Linda Conrad.
Do authors use too much sex and violence?
I read a crazy amount of mysteries every year. You don't even want to know how many as it would seem, well, crazy.
The good news is I believe that most authors use violence only when needed to get a point across or to add to the heart-stopping action. Some authors such as Jacqueline Winspear, Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben use violence very sparingly, making it organic to the story.
The bad news is that some authors seem to feel that if the body count isn't high, the readership won't be either. These are the mysteries that set my teeth on edge, that succumb to the cliches of the genre and follow what I call the Fair Game syndrome. And I am talking about the 1995 movie with Cindy Crawford, which seemed to have a death in every scene.
When an author believes that he or she has to have more, more, more, then chances are the story is just not there and the author needs to sit back and think long and hard about the type of story he or she wants to write.
The use of violence also parallels the use of sex in mysteries. Too much just doesn't work.
I'd like to know readers' views on the issue of sex and violence. What do you think?